Tuesday 24 April 2018

Stephen Kinsella: With 2013 looking very much like 1958, we need the vision of a Whitaker

TK Whitaker
TK Whitaker

Comedian Russell Brand thinks capitalism is rubbish, top bankers want to see more of it – meaning they should be allowed to do what they want – and the public wants to see protected sectors freed up to get prices lowered across the economy by encouraging "capitalism". Should Ireland go for more capitalism in the future, or less? Who decides?

Everybody seems to agree capitalism is the ability to let lots of stuff fail. The logic here is that government supports are not capitalism, because they deny potential losers the possibility of failure and replacement. When losers can't lose, the worst of them cram themselves into these "rent-seeking" safe havens stuffed to the gills with stupid, lazy, insiders, and there they rest until gold-plated pension day rolls around. This rhetorical line leads us directly to soak-the-rich-type propositions, carping about privatising gains, socialising losses, and aren't bankers horrible people.

For me, capitalism is the mobilisation of society's resources based on the profit motive, assuming private property rights and a defined legal system of rights around property title transfer. Capitalism is about seeking the highest profit, not finding the easiest life.

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